Glamis Castle, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Childhood Home
|Glamis Castle. Source: Wikimedia Commons|
Glamis Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, is associated with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the thane of Glamis, who became King of Scotland by killing Duncan. Glamis has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372 when Sir John Lyon was granted the thaneage by King Robert II. He married the king’s daughter in 1376 and since then Glamis has welcomed members of the Scottish and British Royal Families. The castle is believed to be built sometime in the fourteenth century. Standing in well-manicured grounds with borders by Dean Water, it was rebuilt in the style of a French chateau during the seventeenth century by Patrick Lyon, 1st Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.
The castle is set in the broad and fertile lowland valley of Strathmore, near Forfar, county town of Angus. The entire Glamis estate covers 14,000 acres, which includes parks, gardens, as well as agricultural land that produces cash crops and lumber. Two streams flow through the estate, the more popular is the Glamis Burn. The arboretum overseeing Glamis Burn boasts of rare trees from around the world, some of them are several hundred years old.
The castle is famous as the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Exciting yet furtive, here guests will find a secret stairway and a history made more interesting by legends and tales about imp, ghosts and monsters that many believe also live in the castle.
When Elizabeth and her brothers and sisters where still young, they spent many happy days playing in Glamis’ extensive grounds. She was 16 when the castle was converted into a soldiers’ home who were recovering from their wounds during World War I. During this time, broke out in one of the towers, thanks to Elizabeth’s presence of mind, she called both the local fire brigade and the nearest city firefighters. She organized all the onlookers into a queue so buckets of water from the river could be passed along to extinguish the fire. While the cause was never discovered, the situation would have gotten worse without the future queen’s clear thinking.
The Bowes-Lyon’s exquisite collection of china, tapestry, furniture, paintings, and medieval armors are all kept in the castle. A sundial with 84 dials, meanwhile, proudly sits in the ground. An attractive terraced row of restored 19th century cottages lies just a short walk away from the front gates of the castle. Here guests could enjoy the Angus Folk Museum\, which showcases local domestic and agricultural life of the people who have lived in the area for the past 200 years. The museum has been described as containing "one of Scotland's finest folk collections".
Today, guests can relish the rich history of Glamis Castle. It is open to visitors daily and the castle is also available for weddings, gala dinners and corporate dining experience.
More details about Glamis Castle here.
For the history of Glamis, read this.